By Burney Simpson
Veteran hockey player Jarome Iginla scored his 600th goal January 4, capping a 20-year career in the National Hockey League that includes an Olympic Gold medal and playing in six All-Star games.
Iginla, 38, plays right wing for the Colorado Avalanche. The goal came in a power play against the Los Angeles Kings in a game the Avalanche won 4-1. Iginla joined the Avalanche in 2014, after playing for the Calgary Flames, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Boston Bruins.
Iginla was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. His father is from Nigeria, and his mother from Oregon, Wikipedia reports.
Iginla joins 18 other hockey greats in the 600 goal club, including Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Hull, and Mario Lemieux.
“You just play and you want to be in the league,” Iginla told NHL.com. “You want to win and you want to be a part of the NHL. As each year goes by you just keep going, keep battling, and time flies.”
Fellow Avalanche player Nathan MacKinnon said that Iginla brings it every day.
“He’s a machine,” MacKinnon said. “He’s in the best shape on our team at 38. He scores big goals.”
Iginla has long been a league leader. He played for Team Canada in three Winter Olympics, including in 2002 when Canada won the gold medal for the first time in 50 years. He became the first black man to win a Winter Olympics gold medal, according to the New York Times.
Iginla told the Times he was proud that his play could encourage other blacks to play hockey.
“I’d love to be a role model,” he said. ”I love hockey. If more kids can play and be a part of it, that’s great. It’s one of the thrills of my lifetime.”
Iginla could move up the list of scoring stars before the regular hockey season ends in April. Jarri Kurri recorded 601 goals, Dino Ciccarelli 608, and Hull 610. Gretzky is the all-time leader with 894 goals scored.